Do you love tofu? Do you love spicy food? If you said yes to both, then you’re in for a treat! Today, I’m sharing with you my recipe for Chili Tofu. This dish is packed with bold flavors and is perfect for satisfying your cravings.
As a culinary explorer, I understand that not everyone is a fan of tofu. Some find the texture too bland or mushy. But fear not! The beauty of this recipe is that the tofu becomes crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, making it an irresistible addition to any meal.
Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also a great option for those following vegan, gluten-free, or vegetarian diets. It’s quick and easy to make, making it perfect for busy weeknights or when you’re simply in the mood for something comforting and spicy.
So why not spice up your week with a serving of Chili Tofu? Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you’re looking for a spicy and flavorful dish that’s vegan, gluten-free and easy to make, then this chili tofu recipe is perfect for you. This dish is not only delicious but also healthy and satisfying. As someone who loves trying new things, I always look for recipes that are both unusual and scrumptious. And this spicy garlic tofu recipe ticks all the boxes.
Firstly, it has an Indo-Chinese twist to it that adds a unique flavor profile to the dish. The combination of sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger elevates the taste of tofu and vegetables like red capsicum, green chilies, onions, and zucchini to a whole new level. Secondly, it has a perfect balance of spices that’s neither overpowering nor bland. The addition of white pepper powder and salt give it a kick of spiciness that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds without leaving them burning.
What I love most about this recipe is its versatility. You can substitute ingredients based on your preferences or dietary restrictions. For instance, if you’re not fond of tofu or trying to avoid soy products, you can use paneer or any other protein source that suits you. Also, you can adjust the spice level based on your preference – from mild to medium or hot – by adding more chili sauce or green chilies.
In conclusion, this chili tofu recipe is not only easy to follow but also a perfect go-to meal any time of the day. Its hearty combination of crispy chilli tofu and vegetables in every bite will make you want more. Besides, it’s a great way to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction. So why not give this dish a try? Who knows – it might become your go-to meal too!
Here are the ingredients you will need for this spicy and flavorful Chili Tofu recipe:
- 1 red capsicum, diced
- 2 green chilies, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 (14 ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
- 3 tablespoons chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon white pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or cornflour
- Water to make a slurry
- 1 tablespoon oil (choose your preferred cooking oil)
These ingredients are easily available in grocery stores and can be modified according to your preference. If you want a less spicy version of this recipe, simply reduce the amount of chili sauce or omit the green chilies. For a gluten-free option, make sure to use gluten-free cornstarch.
The Recipe How-To
Once you have all of the ingredients for chili tofu prepared and laid out, it’s time to start cooking! In this section, I’ll guide you on how to make this spicy and flavorful dish step by step.
Step 1: Prepping the Tofu
Firstly, take a 14-ounce package of extra firm tofu and drain any excess water. Wrap it in a paper towel, place it on a plate, and weigh it down with something heavy for about 10 minutes to press out any remaining water. Then, cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
Step 2: Sautéing the Vegetables
In a wok over medium heat, add olive oil or any cooking oil of your choice. Once hot, add 4-5 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of minced ginger. Stir until fragrant for about 30 seconds.
Next, add diced onion – about 1 medium sized – and bell peppers – preferably red and green diced into small pieces. Stir-fry for about 4-5 minutes or until they start to soften.
Step 3: Frying the Tofu
Add the cubed extra-firm tofu on top of sautéed vegetables. Cook for several minutes until all sides are crispy while stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Making Sweet Chili Tofu Sauce
To make sweet chili tofu sauce, get a mixing bowl and whisk together cornstarch, water, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce or sweet chili sauce until mixture forms a smooth paste.
Once thoroughly mixed, pour it over the crispy chili tofu in the wok. Then continue to stir fry everything together for an additional two minutes until the liquid has thickened.
Step 5: Garnish and Serve
Garnish with sliced green onions, freshly chopped cilantro, sesame seeds or crushed peanuts before serving with steaming rice or noodles.
Congratulations! Your garlic chili tofu recipe is now ready to be enjoyed as a main dish or even as a side for a big family dinner or get-together with friends.
Substitutions and Variations
As a culinary explorer, I know that experimentation is key to creating great recipes. Although this Chili Tofu dish already offers rich and spicy flavors, you can still add your touch to it by replacing or varying ingredients based on what you have in your pantry or what tickles your fancy.
Firstly, if you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of chili sauce and green chilies. On the other hand, if you’re feeling bold and want to take the heat up a notch, add more chili sauce or sprinkle some red pepper flakes while cooking.
Instead of tofu, you might also try using paneer cheese or seitan instead. Both options provide excellent sources of protein and pair well with the bold flavors of chili sauce and soy sauce.
For those with dietary restrictions, this recipe is already gluten-free; however, if you prefer a low-carb version, eliminate the cornstarch and cornflour from the recipe.
Another way to switch things up is by adding zucchini or baby corn to the mix. These veggies are great at absorbing flavors and will add an extra layer of crunch and sweetness.
Finally, if you’re vegan and enjoy exploring Korean cuisine, swap out the chili sauce for gochujang paste. This Korean ingredient offers a spicy kick with umami undertones that complement tofu incredibly well.
Whatever your preferences are, don’t be afraid to experiment, mix-and-match ingredients or make substitutions based on your taste buds. Cooking is all about discovery and making dishes uniquely yours.
Serving and Pairing
Serving and pairing are two important factors to consider when it comes to preparing a meal. You want to make sure that the dish you’ve labored so hard to prepare is appreciated and that it complements other foods on the table. This Chili Tofu recipe, with its spicy and tangy flavors, pairs excellently with plain boiled rice or quinoa. The mild, fluffy nature of the rice helps subdue the heat and balances the flavors.
I would suggest serving a crisp salad or vegetable stir-fry alongside this dish as well. The coolness of cucumber, crunchy bell peppers, and lightly sautéed spinach will enhance the excellence of this dish while adding a great deal of nutrition to your plate.
If you want to serve something heartier and proteinaceous with this tofu chili recipe, I recommend Korean style chicken or beef tacos. This mouth-watering dish goes really well with our crisp chilli-style tofu dish. You can also use zucchini in place of rice for those watching their carbohydrate intake.
To add a sweet element to your meal, try some sweet potato fries on the side. Or if you’re going gluten-free, air-fried sweet potato chips are also a great addition. They complement the spiciness of the tofu chili nicely without overpowering it.
Ultimately, try using hearty tofu vegetable vegan chili as a standalone main course for dinner or lunch, garnished with chopped coriander and grated cheese on top – an excellent vegan main course option sure to fill anyone up with flavor!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Preparing meals in advance is a great way to reduce the time and effort needed for cooking. With the Chili Tofu recipe, you can prepare it in advance and store it safely for later use.
To make ahead, follow the instructions until step 5 where you stir fry the bell peppers and green chilies. Once the stir fry has cooled down completely, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 1 month. When you are ready to serve, simply heat it over medium heat in a pan or microwave it for 2-3 minutes.
Storing chili tofu is easy as well. Store leftover chili tofu in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. Avoid freezing already cooked tofu as it may change its texture and flavor upon thawing. Consider using air-tight containers that are microwave safe to reheat your chili tofu leftovers.
When reheating your stored chili tofu, there are several ways that you can do it without losing its flavor or texture. Consider microwaving on high power in increments of 30 seconds while stirring after each interval until it’s uniformly heated. Alternatively, you can reheat in a wok or pan by adding a tablespoon of oil over medium heat before adding your cooked chili tofu stir fry combination.
Served with rice or on its own as appetizers like Korean-style Chili tofu with Zucchini, enjoy your chili tofu freshly made or store it safely with ease using these tips!
Tips for Perfect Results
Cooking tofu can be an intimidating experience for some, but with a few simple tips and tricks, you can make the most delicious chili tofu recipe that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy. Whether you’re a tofu connoisseur or a beginner, here are some helpful tips that will ensure that your chili tofu turns out perfect every time.
First off, it’s essential to choose the right type of tofu- firm or extra-firm tofu works best for this recipe. Tofu is high in moisture content, so it tends to crumble or fall apart quickly during the cooking process. One way to prevent this is to press your tofu before using it. You can do this by wrapping the block of tofu in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and placing it under something heavy like a cast-iron skillet or a stack of plates for about 20-30 minutes.
Another helpful tip is to cut your tofu into bite-size cubes as evenly as possible. Uniformity in size ensures that all the cubes cook at the same pace and get crispy on all sides. It’s also essential to use medium heat when cooking your chili tofu recipe; otherwise, it could burn or stick to the pan.
Adding vegetables like bell peppers, onions, green chilies, and red capsicums not only enhance the flavor of your chili tofu but also contribute to its nutritional value. You want your vegetables to be tender but still slightly crisp, so don’t overcook them. Adding garlic and ginger also kicks up the flavor quotient of your dish and gives hints of Indo-Chinese cuisine.
For anyone who loves spice, adding sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, white pepper powder, and a tablespoon of chili flakes are excellent options to take your chili tofu recipe to the next level. Also, try using cornstarch or cornflour on your tofu cubes before frying or stir-frying them; this will create an extra crispy exterior and give a more authentic texture.
Lastly, let your cooked chili tofu stand for about five minutes before serving. This step allows the flavors from the sauce to penetrate the tofu cubes thoroughly for depth of flavor. Serve over a bed of steamed rice garnished with freshly chopped cilantro if desired.
By implementing these tried-and-true tips for cooking chili tofu recipe, you will have a scrumptious vegan dinner option that can be customized according to your spice preference and mood.
In conclusion, this Chili Tofu recipe is a perfect choice for those who want to try something new and fulfilling. It is not only delicious but also vegan, gluten-free, and packed with healthy ingredients that will nourish your body. Whether you are a fan of spicy food or not, this recipe can be easily adjusted according to your preference by adding or reducing the amount of chili sauce.
The versatility of this dish makes it perfect as a main course or a side dish. You can pair it with rice or noodles, add some vegetables such as zucchini or bell pepper to make it more colorful or serve it on its own for a satisfying lunch.
Furthermore, this recipe is easy to make and the ingredients are easily accessible in most supermarkets. With some basic cooking skills, you can have a hearty tofu dish in no time. The variations and substitutions provided give you the freedom to customize the recipe to your own liking and make it your signature dish.
So why not give this Chili Tofu recipe a try? It may just become your next favorite dish. Not only will it satisfy your taste buds, but it will also provide you with nourishment and a sense of accomplishment knowing that you have cooked something delicious and healthy from scratch. To put it simply, this recipe is a must-try for any culinary explorer looking to expand their palate and indulge in some tasty vegan cuisine.
Chili Tofu Recipe
- 200 g tofu
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch or 4 tablespoons cornflour
- 2 tablespoons oil
- oil, to deep fry
- 2 medium onions
- 3 -4 garlic cloves
- 3 -4 green chilies
- 1 large red capsicum (bell pepper)
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili sauce
- To start with, cut tofu into 1 inch diamond shaped pieces.
- Heat oil in a wok.
- Roll tofu pieces in cornflour.
- Now, deep fry them in hot oil on medium flame until the edges start to turn brown.
- Remove from wok, drain onto absorbent paper and keep aside.
- Blend 1 tbsp cornflour (this much will be leftover) in quarter cup of water.
- Keep aside.
- Peel onions and cut'em into thick slices.
- Peel, wash and crush garlic.
- Slice green chillies.
- Wash, halve, de-seed and cut capsicum into thick strips.
- Heat 2 tbsps.
- oil in a wok.
- Add garlic and stir-fry for a minute.
- Add green chillies, onions and capsicum.
- Saute for a few minutes.
- Add tofu.
- Stir in stock.
- Add salt, pepper powder, soy sauce and chilli sauce.
- Stir well.
- Stir in the blended cornflour.
- Cook on high flame, stirring until the sauce thickens to coat the tofu and vegetables.
- Serve rightaway with hot rotis or naan or parathas or even kulchas!
- Enjoy your meal!
Your Own Notes
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Mishra Vikas is a digital nomad who loves to explore the world and learn about its cultures. As a programmer, backpacker, and cook, he enjoys sharing his adventures and cooking up delectable dishes. Writing about his experiences, creating tasty recipes, and discovering new places are some of his favorite activities. He’s an avid traveler and passionate chef, always on the lookout for an exciting new journey.